Police in Stanislaus County, Calif., say a 20-year veteran of the force was "executed" early Sunday after investigating a stolen van and a suspicious person outside Modesto. Sheriff's Deputy Dennis Wallace was shot twice in the head. Police say a suspect was arrested more than 150 miles away later in the day after allegedly carrying out a carjacking, an armed robbery at a convenience store, and an attempted purse-snatching, the Los Angeles Times reports. David Machado, a 37-year-old described by police as a "known criminal," was connected to the Wallace killing after police in Tulane County recognized his tattoos.
Wallace, who was married with children, "was executed," Sheriff Adam Christianson told reporters. "We believe that Dep. Wallace was killed outside of the car and we know for a fact that the gun used in this crime was in direct contact with his head when the trigger was pulled twice." He said Wallace, 53, had been involved in programs including youth soccer and early intervention, NBC News reports. "We need to keep the Wallace family in our thoughts and prayers. We need to keep law enforcement in our thoughts and prayers," he said. The Bradenton Herald reports after a knee injury in 2007, Wallace was off for two years without pay and fought a long legal battle to get his job back.